The Mono Vampire Basketball Club has been on a roll as of late. Just days after winning back-to-back domestic league championships, the Thai squad took care of the Singapore Slingers in two straight games to advance to the semifinals of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
Going up against the number one seeded Chong Son Kung Fu who went a perfect 10-0 at their home floor the regular season would be a tough task for Mono Vampire, admits head coach Doug Marty.
“Chong Son are tough competitors with great leadership from (Anthony) Tucker. They are undefeated at home. We are putting together a game plan now,” said Marty. “We are up for the challenge, but we need all hands on deck.”
The amiable American coach also suggested that the team is suffering a little bit of fatigue and some minor injuries. With world import Mike Singletary tweaking his ankle late in game two of the quarterfinals against Singapore.
“Travelling and the fatigue poses a big challenge, too. But no excuses. We are up to it. First, just getting everyone healthy and rested,” said Marty.
Despite the odds, heritage import Paul Zamar agrees they can compete and prevail over the heavy favorites in game one, but only if the team brings their A-game.
“When you talk about the playoffs, it’s a 50-50 game. It doesn’t matter whose home court it is, or who has the better record. We approach every playoff game like it is our last, it’s always do-or-die,” remarked Zamar.
“We especially can’t afford to make mistakes against the number one ranked team in the league because they will make us pay every single time. If we play smart every possession and have composure whenever they make runs, we would be able to put ourselves in a good position.”
Local players Darongphan Apiromvilaichai and Chitchai Ananti have stepped up to provide excellent boost to the Thai team’s offense during the quarterfinal round, while center Samuel Deguara and court general Jason Brickman has been nothing but steady during the entire stretch.
“It’s all about being mentally tough when your playing on the road in the playoffs, especially against a team that haven’t lost in their home,” closes Zamar.
Mono Vampire will play game one of the semifinals on the road against Kung Fu at the Nanhai District Gymnasium in Foshan, China on April 11. Game two will shift back to Mono Stadium 29 in Bangkok, Thailand on April 18.